Pride parades this summer: Will MBB march again, and if so, will they allow signs that advocate equality?

Summertime is upon us, which means it’s time for planning for the annual Pride parades.  Last year was the first time Mormons marched in Pride in large numbers.  The contingent in Salt Lake City was the largest, marching behind a banner titled Mormons Building Bridges (MBB).  MBB garnered nearly all the media attention, despite the fact that smaller contingents (such as Mormons for Marriage Equality) organized in far more cities across the country with messages advocating equality (e.g., marriage equality, same-sex intimacy as morally neutral).

MBB, so far as I understand the group, is not for equality.  They correlated their signage around the message of “love,” banning messages of equality (i.e., messages “against Church teachings”) — not only in the parades but in ensuing conversations on Facebook and elsewhere.  Their logic is that they want to bring in the most Mormons into a needed conversation about same-sex attraction, and advocating equality hurts that goal.  One might argue that this piecemeal strategy is okay — realistic even — so long as their end goal is equality.  But it’s not. Their end goal is to “extend the message of Jesus Christ” to better include gay Mormons, which means, “Don’t be scared of or mean to gay people, but same-sex intimacy is still a sin.”  Basically, it’s the same message the Church has been peddling for decades, but it’s “new” because it’s in a Pride parade. And now, it’s a church-wide “thing” (See Mormonsandgays.org).

For the reason of letting the Church “get away” with this — using Pride to its ends — I’ve also been critical of the LGBT community. The LGBT community puts too much focus on rights-based strategies, not realizing how they’re empowering privately-owned heteropatriarchal institutions like the Church in the process. Long after there is national gay marriage, there will still be heteropatriarchal institutions like the Church.

Last summer, I was pretty frustrated with the media coverage of MBB because everywhere it seemed that MBB was linked with the idea of Mormons as pro-gay; and in an election year with a Mormon presidential candidate, this was a highly problematic mis-message.

That was 2012.  Now, the situation is somewhat different.  The more MBB is associated with Mormons working against their own Church, the more the Church seems unstable.  However, I also believe that the Church doesn’t mind the perceived instability, as it can turn it into “multicultural, diversity of thought” (think the strategy of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign), knowing that, on the ground, Mormons are still behaving in a correlated fashion, which they certainly are in MBB.  I’m pretty sure that if MBB marches again this year (if Pride organizers allow them), there will be no change in their signage policies from last year.

Hopefully the media will focus on Mormons who really are for equality, whose messages demonstrate actual instability in the Church on the issue. I think I got my hopes too high last summer, lol.

48 thoughts on “Pride parades this summer: Will MBB march again, and if so, will they allow signs that advocate equality?

  1. I agree; I hope we’ll see some Mormons building bridges towards equality. I understand the desire to make the message accessible to faithful Mormons, but it’s a problem when their discussion group allows people to post comments advocating reparative therapy while censoring posts about equality.

  2. Mormons Building Bridges DOES NOT advocate, condone, or otherwise encourage reparative or aversion “therapy”. We adhere and promote the APA stance that homosexuality is not a disease or condition, that it its innate, and no amount of counselling, prayer, or piety will change anyone’s sexual orientation.

  3. @2 I have read some articles stating that on the MBB facebook page, pro-equality comments were censored whereas comments promoting changing orientation were allowed to stand. Is that claim false?

    If you need more precise details before responding, I can probably track down the articles in question.

  4. On the MBB facebook page, campaigning for Marriage Equality is outside the guidelines. Stories and experiences are welcomed and encouraged. Currently on the page are posts marking the passage of marriage equality laws in Minnesota. The facebook page is open for all to see.

    My own sister’s story of finding her wife was posted on the page some time back.

  5. On the MBB facebook page, campaigning for Marriage Equality is outside the guidelines.

    OK. And is advocating orientation-changing and/or reparative therapy also outside the guidelines on the MBB facebook page?

  6. There is NO advocating of reparative therapy on the MBB page. If a person tells their story, and it includes experiences of such practices, the story will stay.

    We periodically RE-POST the APA statement regarding aversion and reparative therapy to the page. Due to the nature of facebook, posts travel down the page with time, and need to be “bumped up” to retain their position on the page.

    Again, MBB is adamantly opposed to reparative therapy.

  7. I’m not trying to attack or even debate you, I just want to determine whether the complaint I read about had any truth to it.

    You say: “Stories and experiences are welcomed and encouraged.” So, you mean that people aren’t allowed to post “Let’s all vote for marriage equality!” but that if someone posts “I’m so happy that now I am finally allowed to marry my sweetheart of 15 years!” that comment would be allowed, right?

  8. @8 OK, that’s good to know. It’s possible that the article that I found and linked to in one SiOB last year was overreacting to some minor oversight or error in moderating a large forum.

  9. Here is a link to the APA statement regarding aversion and reparative therapy that MBB, in an official moderator position, not just as individuals, has frequently posted on the MBB facebook page.
    http://www.apa.org/about/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx
    Also, here is a quick link to MBB (I know, easy to find, but this is even easier). Please go hang out here, read the guidelines, which 2,600 people have agreed with by joining, and see if the tone is as rancorous as some write about it being.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/mormonsbuildingbridges
    Thanks for looking in to these assertions!

  10. As a matter-of-fact, I wish more families would post their stories and pictures–Two Mommy/ Two daddy families, families with transgender members, all of these perspectives need to be shared. This is a HUMAN family.

    Please visit the facebook page. If you are on facebook, and would like to participate, the group is open–just click “Join Group” and the moderator will send you your welcome message. :)

  11. I am curious how many people will march in Salt Lake for marriage equality. The past two weeks there’s been Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, and things have been rather silent in Mormonland. I wonder how many people, raised in an authoritarian culture, will participate, now that marching is not seen as on the explicit no-no list.
    When Utah gets an ENDA, then I’ll know the times are achanging.

    Here’s a discussion —
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aTj8JxdLG8
    A statement by Dustin Lance Black an arched eyebrow. It went something like this–“If you are a young person in the Mormon Church, you are expected to be a Boy Scout.”
    Oh, really.
    I’m a thinkin’ the Mormon Church is theologically wrabbed up in eternal sexism, with a bow of heterosexism.
    And I’m inclined to guess the bow is more likely to be changed, than the wrapping.

  12. Clark, G. A. Broken bridge. Guest editorial. Salt Lake City Weekly. June 6, 2012. http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-16030-broken-bridge.html
    The bridge that Mormons Building Bridges really wants to build is to LDS.org. That’s a bridge that needs to be burnt, not built. Based on interviews conducted at the 2012 Utah Pride Parade, my guest editorial critiques the ongoing, inappropriate religious discrimination regarding gay rights and gay marriage. It notes the harm caused by keeping the silence enforced by MBB, and by Mormon scriptures and the bigoted, hate-filled Mormon “basic beliefs” regarding homosexuality that are *still* the official views of the church, , their hypocritical messages of love notwithstanding.

  13. Doree @ 10:

    Please go hang out here, read the guidelines, which 2,600 people have agreed with by joining, and see if the tone is as rancorous as some write about it being.

    The issue I’m writing about here is one of censorship, not whether the tone of the group is rancorous.

    I’ve been thinking of conducting an experiment. Mormons like to say that everyone is welcomed to attend their church — even people in same-sex relationships. However, I have membership with the Church, and if I went back and was interviewed (and the bishop learns I’m in a same-sex relationship) I assume he would have no choice but to start an excommunication process. In other words, I am not welcome to attend church, because me going is an invitation to be “kicked out.”

    This issue is very plain. It has to do with basic policy, enforcing insider/outsider rules on the question of “sin.” MBB is not interested in what causes the insider/outsider problem… in fact, they forbid talking about it. They’re interested in “feel good” discourse and getting people up to date about things gay. People in MBB will post things about gay teens needing education about sexually transmitted diseases, but then refuse (and forbid) to have a discussion about the question of “sin” and disbelonging in the Church. It’s rather ridiculous, and beneath the ridiculousness, it’s insulting (the censorship amounts to homophobia, btw). What exactly does MBB hope to achieve?

  14. Case in point from the MBB About page:

    [We] work to make them feel welcome in our homes and congregations.

    [This] is not a place for…doctrinal debates.

    Given that unwelcoming LDS doctrine is the root cause of the problem (IMO), the group seems to be engaging in counterproductive behavior.

  15. I’m posting some comments here from other people, from an ongoing parallel discussion about MBB on another site. I am leaving their names anonymous, but the quotes are real.

    I’ve written… so much about this. MBB has treated me, and others, badly. So badly some were driven to the very brink of suicide. To me, that is a crime. Was some of it based on genuine misunderstanding and ham-handedness? I’m sure it was. Is an apology due? It is.

  16. Another person:
    I spent months helping clean up after MBB in 2012.

    It wasn’t personally destructive to me, as I am not GBLT, but MBB people left so many weeping (who were already in pain, needed to feel that their effort to express themselves and discuss their place inside of the Mormon family was recognized) because their comments had been deleted at MBB. Their stories were taken down unless they flattered the church; people who were already bruised were wounded again.

    Many forums formed to handle the population of these people — who were now not just hurt but angry and violated– and bringing those forums to again focus on a positive church relationship AFTER their treatment at MBB has been very hard. I’m in admin in such a forum and “MBB disease” or “MBB-hurt-me-so-now-I-will-not-give-the-church-my-heart-again-ever” is a strong, repeating feature. We generally have had to establish a rule that YES, all stories must be welcome but we also need to allow every person to try, IF they want to, to regain their hope of being with the saints, in spite of what MBB did. So many now use MBB’s abuse of them to warn new-comers that the church really *has* not changed and is only pretending to love them. Just a few people saying versions of, “I posted that I hoped for a day of equal dignity and my post was taken down” means that we have to work hard to focus on our universal inclusion in the Plan of Happiness.

    All of this was made more damning by the fact that MBB and friends did in fact act irresponsibly, often. Using their influence to insert two “churchy” speakers at the Circling the Wagons Conference, speakers that would encourage celibacy or consideration of Mixed Orientation Marriage (both of which states have been generally harmful to GBLT) MBB asserted that NO ONE would take the inclusion of those two speakers as actual guidance. MBB and friends told everyone that they had the situation Under Control and A Plan in Place to prevent people from making the conclusion that Circling the Wagons/ the church encourages MOMs. When, however, I ***called*** one of those speakers, Josh Weed, it was determined that he had no idea of any plan to address the effect. He was horrified to learn that his particular and unique story was ever used to coerce children into marriages they were not suited for. Josh still spoke at Circling the Wagons but he saved the day by denouncing the very connection that MBB had set him up to suggest, and that is why I respect Josh Weed.

    For their part, MBB spent much of that time banning and blocking people (like me) who pointed out that their “suggestion” was harmful and that they should not encourage it. They delete and obfuscate records (though many people did finally learn to save them). Their inability to address people honestly has been a problem for themselves and everyone dealing with them.
    2 hours ago ·

  17. And another person..

    Sound off kids . I’m a devout Mormon , hard core , and if anyone really wants to talk the bible with me , will usually end up with their minds blown . As for MBB it’s simple , ken doll is in it for support from the church, he wants to get his film out. He feels he represents the church and gays but has offended people on both sides. He runs MBB as his own pool of minions thinking everyone wants to lick his balls. I watched him bully everyone with the lds.org position and left no open dialogue to anything else. I was booted for calling ken doll out on protecting a convicted child molester . Ken doll gave this guy access to minors made him a moderator then when he got called out on it he tried to wash it all away . I am happy to not be in the group once I saw how hurtful it is to people. They deny their support to reparative therapy , only cause of recent fire they have taken. If ken doll knew he wasn’t going to be able to give fire sides with his film , he would t be sucking up to the church on this so badly . Or he just really is the self loathing narcissist , like hitler being half Jewish

  18. And another person (I’m not making this up)

    I am confused as to why we would cheer on a group of individuals that ostracized LGBTQ in their group. I was spoken down to on MANY occasions. Had posts removed just for speaking about Marriage Equality. Was sent personal emails asking me to stop talking about marriage equality because it was “too political”.

    Yet when posts were made about Mixed orientation marriages it was only left up for PRO MOM such as Josh Weed. Those who shared a different opinion stating they had been in harmful mixed orientation marriages those posts were removed. I saw it with my own eyes and so did many many others. The difference is those people were all deleted from MBB. I was banned. Supposedly for blocking 1 of the 7 admins after she sent me rude and degrading emails in my personal inbox.

    I won’t use names but i can tell you that i was treated as less then as an LDS gay woman. I along with many others was spoken down to in front of their audience and my thoughts as a gay woman and my heartache that i felt coming out was never heard.

    I’m sorry ZZZZ, i think you do GREAT things for the community and i have nothing personal against you but i am completely confused as to the strong protection of their group. Should we not be protecting our community? The many LGBTQ that were hurt by the words spoken to them by some hurful MBB members?

    Yes i see how MBB has helped create dialouge amonst the LDS community, but they also have allowed conversation on conversion therapy by both Evergreen (known for reparative therapy) and Northstar. Yet when anything pro gay marriage was discussed that was “too political” yet when something in regards to choosing to remain celebate or enter into a mixed orientation was encouraged and supported.

    I saw it and i am LDS and respect and love my LDS family and friends. I am not anti LDS in fact i fully 110% appreciate all my loving LDS family and friends that support gay marriage and respect those who don’t. But…. i don’t think they should be hailed as heroes when we have seen a totally different side to the coin.

    Just sharing my opinion. I have no desire to hurt anyone. Just sharing my own personal story. I spent many a night crying after being chastised and talked down to in that MBB group. I finally see being deleted and banned from the group as a blessing. Its just a reminder of all the other places where being fully out and open about being a Lesbian just simply isn’t accepted unless of course i wanted to talk about going to church…then it would be ok. I dunno…. I think this IS important to discuss. Maybe if some apologies were publically sent out to those hurt it might help but i doubt any of them will ever do that.

  19. And yet another person (this is all in the last few hours, folks)

    feel compelled to add my two cents here. I am a devote Mormon in a failing MOM. I rarely commented in MBB but I was on there many times a day in the fall of 2012. I watched as comments were deleted by gay posters without warning. I would receive emails or texts or phone calls from these gay friends because they were absolutely perplexed as to why their posts were deleted. I was appalled to see post after post taken down, these were posts not just of asking for marriage equality but of their personal stories of being hurt by Church, and their longing for their community back. Everything that didn’t reflect a sunshine and rainbows view of the Church was deleted that fall. Ironically, if anyone posted regarding working MOMs or Northstar, or Evergreen the posts were left intact. It was also noticed by me, that any posts that were made by “faithful” LDS were rarely touched even if they were confrontational or aggressive toward a gay member of the group. The most vulnerable and injured in the group were routinely deleted, called out, and even banned and the bullies were left unchecked. MBB came into our living room (attended pride) and then began bossing us around in our own house. This is a group that is not a friend to the Gay Community. It is a Church group that is catering to the membership and the leadership of the church.

  20. Gregory — Thanks for providing an alternate perspective. Some of those comments basically reflect what I’d heard, as I mentioned @1.

    My personal bias is that working to make a group welcoming to LDS generally translates to boundary maintenance, i.e. making sure that certain people and viewpoints are excluded (regardless of whether they friendly, sincere, well-intentioned, etc.). (I participated in a Sunstone panel on this point, actually.)

    Some have argued, however, that a group like MBB can be helpful by making the CoJCoL-dS a safer place for gay teens, for example, by tempering their parents’ attitudes towards gay people.

  21. As is to be expected, there is much anger and pain surrounding the LDS/LGBT experience. For decades people have been mistreated and misunderstood. Many, many have been excluded, and denied participation in congregations because the mass of members and leadership lack education and often pass judgment.

    Mormons Building Bridges is attempting to change these practices. However, we are not an official church entity. We do not dictate or influence policies of the LDS church.

    In any forum that is open and asks for participation from people who have been wronged, there will be discussion and sharing of experiences that are not “feel good discourse”. The sharing of these stories is not banned.

    There have been comments and posts deleted–more commonly they are anti-gay comments, irrelevant spam, and outright trolling. Yes, as can be evidenced by the tone in some of the quotes shared above, posts and comments have been deleted because they were over the line and directed at people in a personal and hateful way.

    Not surprisingly, people disagree with each other. There are still, on the page, examples of such discussions.

    Also not surprising, there are people whose personal code is such that MBB’s choice to appeal to, and work with the semi-uninitiated and uneducated (in LGBT matters) LDS base, is anathema. That is to be expected. Many people are working from a different vantage point, having already moved on to other methods for change. For change to happen, for people to be given their due, there will need to be work done in many different ways. MBB is simply focusing on one aspect of a multi-faceted situation.

    Like the story of the old man, his son, and the donkey–there will always be someone who feels the wrong choice was made–no matter who is riding or walking, or how many changes to the arrangement were made.

    As a grass-roots, human effort, MBB is doing our best to welcome all those who feel that they have something to contribute to improving the LGBT experience within the LDS church. That includes sharing of personal experiences, suggestions for improvement, calls to include LGBT persons in Scouting, and supporting/attending rallies for fair treatment in housing and employment.

    For those who are not satisfied with MBB’s approach or feel the need to work for equal rights and change in other ways–there are many, many forums for that.

    Mormons Building Bridges is more than a facebook group. The facebook page, is however the most public and easily accessed method to view or be informed of MBB activities. I again invite anyone to check out the page. Specific people (such as myself) can be contacted there–with no need to join.

  22. Corey Howard
    When your bridge is perceived as a siege tower, perhaps you should rethink the campaign.

  23. Corey — Your perspective makes a lot of sense, and thanks for being willing to give a friendly and constructive explanation of your organizations goals.

    Also not surprising, there are people whose personal code is such that MBB’s choice to appeal to, and work with the semi-uninitiated and uneducated (in LGBT matters) LDS base, is anathema.

    To explain my comment @23, and just speaking for myself and my own experiences as a non-believer engaged in discussion of Mormonism:

    I feel like faithful Mormons are typically far too quick to dismiss people as “anti-Mormon” when that charge is not merited. Sometimes people in the borderlands of Mormonism explicitly exclude people like me (an atheist!) from the discussion — not because I necessarily say anything disruptive, but to demonstrate to the more faithful that there’s a boundary that they’re all on the inside of together. So (my bias) I am sometimes a bit leery of a goal to make sure the faithful will be comfortable in a given space.

    But that’s not quite the whole situation when it comes to LGBTQ & LDS. (Note: I am not LGBTQ myself, and I do not claim any expertise on LGBTQ issues.)

    The CoJCoL-dS has done a great deal of harm to gay people — in terms of profound shaming as well as using an enormous amount of political activism to take away basic rights from people who aren’t even Mormon. And the MBB in the pride parades gave some people the impression that they were pressuring the LGBTQ community to forgive the Mormons without the Mormons being sorry or making amends, and to thank the Mormons for being willing to “love the sinner and hate the sin” so to speak…

    That said, this is a very controversial issue here at MSP. Many people have a very positive impression of MBB and what you’re doing.

  24. Corey @24,

    I agree with chanson, that your perspective makes sense. There are multiple avenues to tackle the “beast,” so we shouldn’t expect MBB to fill every role.

    However, I think you’re sidestepping the central critique with your “live and let live” mentality. MBB refuses to touch topics that deal with doctrine (when it so happens that bad doctrine is where the homophobia stems from), they refuse to talk “political,” which is a very fuzzy term — since plenty of people would say that “marching in a Pride parade” is “political.” Political seems to mean what MBB folks find uncomfortable — such as gay marriage, which for many gay people is not a “political” issue, but a spiritual one.

    sharing of personal experiences, suggestions for improvement, calls to include LGBT persons in Scouting, and supporting/attending rallies for fair treatment in housing and employment.

    I suggest you read my article in Religion Dispatches concerning LDS “experimentation” with LGBT rights and inclusion. Indeed the “beast” needs to be tackled from multiple routes, but some routes grow the beast rather than take it down. Until MBB budges on the “sin” question, it’s all mostly hot air and no different than what the official Church was saying in the 1990s (Go read Elder Oaks’ 1995 article on “Same-gender attraction,” for example).

  25. Corey: A bridge that goes nowhere at all is a bridge that might as well not even exist. MBB is by definition composed of those who are *faithful* to the LDS Church. But Mormonism is anti-gay, in word and deed. That’s what MBB is faithful too. No matter how much sugar coating you put on it. No matter how much side-stepping you do. And no matter how many half-truths you spew.

    MBBers are self-defined faithful Mormons. As their FB site proclaims (May 4, 2013): “Mormons Building Bridges represents faithful Latter-day Saints.” Hence, to know what MBB stands for and is faithful to, it is highly relevant to know what Mormonism itself stands for beneath the false veneer.

    So, Corey: Name one instance where MBB officially rejects official LDS doctrine. If there are none, then effectively there is no difference between MBB and Mormonism.

    Anti-gay Mormonism is what MBB is faithful to.

    And, yes, Mormonism is anti-gay.

    Don’t think so? Reality check. Anyone wanting to see some bone-fide anti-gay bigotry, just visit the *official* Mormon site that explains the self-proclaimed Mormon “basic beliefs” about homosexuality, (http://mormon.org/faq/topic/homosexuality)

    For example, check out the Biblical passages that the Mormon Church promotes there as its “basic beliefs” (LDS.org): Leviticus 20:13. And Romans 1:24-32.

    Let’s being with a look-see at Leviticus. “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

    That’s the Mormon God speaking, Corey. The MBB God. Erica Munson’s God. And Kendal Wilcox’s God, too of course.

    But when I asked Munson in point-blank to reject the Leviticus injunction that people kill gays, Munson wouldn’t. (http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-16030-broken-bridge.html)

    WTF? Who in his or her right mind would NOT reject that? MBB founder Munson, that’s who.

    Over and over I asked her. Over and over she wouldn’t.

    I also stand by my reporting of Wilcox said, his empty subsequent protestations notwithstanding:
    GC: “So, it [Leviticus] doesn’t apply now. Did it apply a thousand years ago? Was it “right” then?”
    KW: “Possibly.”

    Again, WTF? Who could possibly say such a thing? Kendall Wilcox, that’s who.

    That’s what Mormon scripture says, after all. That’s what Mormonism is. And that’s what MBB is faithful to.

    Here’s another Mormon scriptural passage described as a Mormon “basic belief”: the gay-bashing vicious and ugly hate speech of Romans 1:24-32.

    That’s the Mormon scriptural passage that says that gays and lesbians are “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful…

    And, of course, “worthy of death.”

    So much for “love the sinner, hate the sin.” That’s hate speech against gays, plain and simple.

    But on the very same official church page where the church cites that passage, with its usual double-speak the church then has the audacity to claim that Mormons “love them [‘so-called gays and lesbians’] as sons and daughters of God.”

    Yeah, right. Feel the love. With love like that, who needs hate?

    Let’s remember that this year’s theme is “Gotta Be Real Equality.” But MBB doesn’t support real equality. Instead, it supports Mormonism. Their march in Pride this year is a lie.

    As my guest editorial also states: “Marriage is a civil right. The LDS Church has no more right to impose its religious beliefs to deny gays a marriage license than to deny them a driver’s license.”

    Munson also refused to take a stance on marriage equality. MBB refuses to take a stand on marriage equality. But deeper than her silence, and that of other people, are the official LDS position and self-defined LDS “basic beliefs” on marriage, to which Munson and MBB are self-reportedly “faithful”:

    “[W]e cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families.”

    That’s what MBB is faithful to.

    And let’s also remember that, for all its supposed new stance toward gays, the LDS church recently filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court against gay marriage.

    That’s what MBB is faithful to.

    And as for the “fair treatment in housing and employment” that Corey claims MBB supports? More half-truths. The reality is, if you are in a gay relationship, then you aren’t even good enough to pick up LDS trash. For all the mealy-mouthed bromides repeated so mindlessly by MBB, the church actively discriminates in employment, even in jobs that have nothing to do with religion. And once again, the Church fought all the way to the Supreme Court to fight for its ability to discriminate. And it still continues to discriminate to this day, as recent cases at the Univ. of Utah demonstrate (http://www.dailyutahchronicle.com/?p=2570929)

    Let’s face it. The church’s promotion of vitriolic, violent, vicious and ugly anti-gay hate-speech, and its anti-gay bigotry and its discrimination even in the public domain are NOT stances to which any reasonable, fair-minded person would proclaim to be “faithful.”

    But MBB does.

    What is the difference between MBB and Mormonism? None. Never has been. If I’m wrong, Corey—or anyone else—then please educate me: What specific official Mormon policy does MBB officially reject?

    You can’t “build a bridge” if the bridge goes nowhere new. MBBers self-define, and have always self-defined, as being faithful Mormons. And Mormonism is clearly, explicitly, anti-gay bigotry. That Mormonism is what MBB is faithful to. That Mormonism is what MBB supports financially. That Mormonism is what MBB wants gays to be members of.

    MBB doesn’t promote gay rights. It promotes Mormonism, which is explicitly, repeatedly anti-gay, in word and deed.

    It’s that simple. And that unfortunate. And no amount of sugarcoating changes that reality.

  26. Let’s remember that this year’s theme is “Gotta Be Real Equality.” But MBB doesn’t support real equality. Instead, it supports Mormonism. Their march in Pride this year is a lie.

    Huh. I wonder if this theme is what fueled rumors that MBB would be banned this year. So far as I know, though, they’ll still be marching in SLC Pride.

  27. I wonder what we would think of a anti-stoning campaign that consisted of trying to persuade people not to use granitic rocks.
    Wouldn’t it be better to look at why people are throwing stones and deal with that?
    Yeah, I would rather be hit with talc, rather than diamonds no matter how lovely to look at.
    But I’d rather not have rocks chucked at me.

  28. Alan@29:
    “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” ~ Mark Twain :-)

  29. Alan@30. Yup, yup. That’s the theme: “Gotta Be Real Equality,” Further, as the Pride guidelines explicitly indicate, “the Utah Pride Festival requests all participating contingents reflect this year’s theme (“Gotta Be Real Equality’).” (http://utahpridefestival.org/parade/parade-criteria-and-rules)

    Ironically, right next to that statement is a photo of MBB, the group that actively suppresses calls for real equality.

    Yes, MBB will be marching, despite the theme. And once again, MBB will be given an unwarranted prominent position, bringing up the end of the parade (https://www.facebook.com/events/419312828147896/)

    But will MBB promote this year’s Pride theme? Of course not. F*ck you, gay people. MBB will have its own, different theme. “Our Theme: Family Reunion.”

    Why are they marching? To support gay rights? Don’t be silly. “[M]embers…are marching because of their commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

    Will MBB allow signs that say: “Real Equality Means Marriage Equality!” Or, “Marriage Equality Now!” Or, “Stop LDS Job Discrimination!”

    You can bet your golden plates they won’t.

    MBB is faithful to Mormonism. And Mormonism is faithful to anti-gay discrimination. For time and eternity.

  30. Gregory A. Clark
    If what you say is accurate, then do you know what the reason is for their inclusion in the pride parade?
    Creating safe space is a difficult issue. Organizations have to start somewhere. But I am of the opinion that there will ultimately be no safe space in Mormondom, unless the Church rids itself of it’s homophobia and sexism.
    And any organization who instead of standing for equality, gives cover for inequality, is creating unsafe space.
    Sounds like they are marching to feel good about themselves, instead of doing good.

  31. the reason…for their inclusion in the pride parade

    I was about to ask this, too, since clearly MBB doesn’t fit with the stated theme.

    I get the sense that the LGBT-LDS relationship is unique in SLC. When I was there, queer folks were just like, “Eh, those Mormons…” I was reading through a thread where Troy Williams (who threw his support behind MBB last year and this year) stated that there are “bigger” issues to focus on these days, so just let the Mormons march, for goodness sake. He didn’t say this, but I will: they probably couldn’t march in NYC or Seattle (in the MBB format), so why not SLC?

    There is growing nonchalance since the overall national milieu is leaning toward equality. People are more focused on the Supreme Court’s decision this summer. What was once a critique of Mormon homophobia is now being described as “Mormonphobia” since the Church is basically “nice” to its gays now.

    I get this perspective, and partly in response to it, I wrote my Religion Dispatches article. I think personal stories regarding problems within MBB foreground how the Church is basically expanding its heterosexism into Pride, even if from the outside it looks like “queer Mormonism.”

  32. Regarding the theme, there’s got to be some interesting backstage drama there that we’re missing.

    Considering the huge amount of discussion last year over the fact that the Mormons were marching in the parade without favoring full equality, this year’s theme can’t be a coincidence. The organizers are encouraging the MBB group to think seriously about the message they’re sending. Yet it looks like the MBB folks have decided to pretend they didn’t hear about this year’s theme. It makes me curious to check out the MBB facebook group to see how that discussion went…

  33. In an effort to make Mormons comfortable, it appears that MBB is burdening LGBT with the prohibitions. That means that a tiny minority that continues to suffer from discrimination is now supposed to bear the burden to make the powerful and the majority comfortable.

    Whatever the motivation, that is wrong because the strong and the powerful have a greater capacity to tolerate pain while LGBT have already been pushed to the margins of Mormon society, which has severe consequences for their status and in too many cases for their mental health and physical well-being.

    People who are being discriminated ought to be able to advocate for equal rights. Any forum that denies that is behaving unethically and such prohibitions have serious consequences for LGBTs, their friends, and their families.

  34. Nothing is more domineering than forbidding human beings to agitate against their discrimination.

    I realize that MBB’s intentions may be the opposite. All the more tragic.

  35. [Hi MSP: Caught the following on the net. Like it?]

    Official LDS Porn & Boy Scouts

    by Aaronita Smith

    Wayne Perry, Boy Scouts president, is pro-gay – and, believe it or not, MALE porn is officially part of his religion!
    Scholars, including Mormon ones, know of a hard-core porn sketch in the Mormon-approved “Book of Abraham.”
    This Book is part of the “Pearl of Great Price” which, along with the “Book of Mormon,” is LDS-authorized scripture.
    Figure 7 in Facsimile 2 in “Abraham” shows two beings facing each other. Joseph Smith described them as the “Holy Ghost” and “God” (the Father), the latter showing an erect male sex organ.
    Mormons were offended when Smith’s newspaper published this sketch in 1842, so the phallic part was whited out for more than a century until the “restored” LDS church restored the X-rated drawing in 1981!
    LDS scholars have hushed up the fact that the “Book of Abraham” is not about the biblical Abraham but actually portrays ancient Egyptian documents showing occult obscene sketches.
    Those scholars also know that Smith fraudulently altered them so that he could (blasphemously) portray the Christian trinity as sex fiends in order to promote polygamy among his followers!
    For more info see “Book of Abraham” (Wikipedia). And check out the Tanners’ “Mormonism – Shadow or Reality?” which reproduces the original Egyptian sketches Smith plagiarized and exploited. Also Yahoo or Google “Facts From Mormons (By a Utah Resident),” “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up,” “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up,” and “USA – from Puritans to Impure-itans.”

  36. UPDATE: M4E won’t [may not] be marching in SLC Pride Parade. There will [might] just be MBB, and those Mormons who want to hold equality signs will be interspersed perhaps with the ACLU and the Unitarian Universalists.

    It seems the lines are regional…MBB has “won” the Mormon corridor, whereas Mormon equality banners will show up in other cities this summer.

    Hopefully, the summer “battle” won’t be too stressful for folks. The way I see it, MBB is fueled by the Church’s desire to “fit in” and be nice to its LGBTs, but fizzles at the edges because of its bad treatment of those with actual equality mindsets. Once equality is the requirement for “fitting in,” MBB’s bad behavior may become less tolerable. But who knows….I feel bad for those with a bigger foot in the Church than myself, as this divide will go on for years to come, unfortunately.

    On the other hand, there are young folks with an equality mindset who seem to be willing to just jump the borders:

    Whatever group we march with I will be showing off a sign emphasizing that I’m a Mormon who supports and agrees with Marriage Equality.

    Maybe there will be a “battle” on the morning of the parade, and what signs are held by MBB participants we won’t know until the actual parade this weekend. Stay tuned. =)

  37. Alan @ 41. More info, more info! Why no M4E? Their choice (boycott)? Or what?

  38. How about “Mormons For Masturbation?”
    “Mormons For Apologizing for the Priesthood being Withheld from Blacks?”
    “Mormons For Apologizing for Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Spencer Kimball, and Boyd Packer?”
    “Mormons For Freedom of Thought and Freedom of Speech within Mormonism?”
    “Mormons For Women Priests?”
    “Mormons For Tithing Refunds?”
    “Mormons For Atheism?”
    “Mormons Against Brain Washing?”
    “Mormons For Truth about the Book of Mormon?”
    “Mormons For Naturalism?”
    “Mormons For Sex Before Marriage, and For A LOT of Oral Sex After?” (in response to Spencer Kimball’s oral sex letter)
    “Mormons For Porn?”

    When one or more of these signs also shows up at “Pride” then maybe I’ll take part. The last one is already especially in place in Utah, as there’s very high porn usage going on here. In all seriousness… Jonathan

  39. @42: Check out the convo on this page. I get the sense that the general media blackout (including what some feel is a deliberate attempt to sideline M4E and focus on MBB) made it difficult to acquire numbers. For example, a while back, the Salt Lake Tribune botched coverage of a rally organized by M4E and cited MBB instead. Folks just kinda are giving up, but maybe something will happen at the last second.

    Although it’s still possible for M4E to register (or rather, follow through on their registration), not sure it’ll happen. Like I said, it’s a regional thing…. M4E has a very hard time in Utah competing with MBB — and who knows who is pulling what strings — but there’s far less tolerance for MBB outside Utah (Boise, etc).

    The part where Wilcox (a founding member of MBB) expresses disappoint with M4E not marching is kinda ridiculous.

  40. One thing I like about Ida B Wells is that in the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, when she was told she had to march in the segregated unit so not to upset Southerners,– She didn’t.

    I realize sometimes you have to make deals with the devil, but I don’t get gays supporting discrimination. Nothing nice about that.

  41. That’s too bad that M4E didn’t get a spot in the parade. So is MBB marching in the parade or not? I thought I read that they were simply going to have their own alternate “family reunion” event, but now I can’t find where I read that…

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